The Catholic Church has historically held a negative view of Masonism, also known as Freemasonry. In 1738, Pope Clement XII issued a papal bull entitled “In eminenti apostolatus,” which declared that Catholics who joined the Masonic lodges would be excommunicated. This ban was later reinforced by Pope Leo XIII in his 1884 encyclical “Humanum Genus”.
The Catholic Church views Masonism as incompatible with the teachings of the Church, as it promotes an understanding of God that is different from the Biblical, Catholic view as revealed through Jesus Christ. Masons are also seen as promoting religious relativism, which goes against the Catholic belief in the uniqueness of Christ and the truth of the Holy Faith.
Furthermore, Masons have often been involved in various political and social movements that have attempted to destroy the unity of the Church and its relationship with her Lord.
Despite the traditional Catholic Church’s negative view of Masonism, there have been efforts in recent years by modernists to reconcile Masonism with “Catholicism”.
Catholics who join Masonic organisations are in a state of grave sin and cannot receive the Sacraments. A Mason can not become a member of the Church without first renouncing all membership and affiliation with Masonic lodges and organisations.